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America, Under New ManagementA "Minority's" Guide to understanding the "angry" Tea Party/Republicans
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Parker
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Chapter OneRepublican History
Conservatism: a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports minimal and gradual change in society.
The term was introduced during the time of the French Revolution (1700's) and the sole goal is to keep things as they are. Modernization and change are kryptonite to Conservatives. British politician Edmund Burke, the grandfather of Conservatives was very opposed to the French Revolution and American Conservatives were opposed to Roosevelt's New Deal. This resistance to social changes is how the Republican Party lost the Black vote in America.
The Republican Party of 1854 is very different from the party today. In fact, initially it wasn't all that conservative by definition. Noble beginning's of antislavery prompted members of the Whigs and Free Soil Democrats to mobilize in opposition to Stephen Douglas. In January 1854 Douglas's introduction of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, was a bill which repealed the 1820 Missouri Compromise prohibition on slavery in the Louisiana Purchase territories. The party at that time was also radically progressive emphasizing higher education, sound banking, and the modernization of railroads, industry and cities. They promised free homesteads to farmers and passionately believed that free-market labor was superior to slave labor. Today, they want a rigged market along with economic slavery of American citizens beholden to corporations, and they definitely don't believe in giving Americans anything for free! Anyway, this newly formed Party was a conglomerate of various party members with a clear vision. Many of the Democrats who joined up were rewarded with governorships, U.S. Senate or House of Representatives seats. The first statewide convention was held on July 6, 1854. Believe it or not the Republican Party was not founded in the South contrary to what it seems today. The party initially had its base in the Northeast and Midwest and launched its first national convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in February 1856, with its first national nominating convention held in the summer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ironically there were few efforts to organize the party in the South. In 1856, John C. Frémont ran as the first Republican nominee for President. His political slogan was: "Free soil, free labor, free speech, free men, Frémont." Wow! Today a Republican's slogan reads more like "Big oil, cheap labor, rhetoric speech, white men. Frémont lost his bid but showed a strong base dominating in New England, New York, Midwest, and had a strong presence in the rest of the North.
Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican President (1861-1865) his election ended the domination of the Democrats which had existed since the days of Andrew Jackson. Lincoln was successful in uniting the factions of his party. He also wasn't afraid to challenge his own party either. When Lincoln added the abolition of slavery as a war goal most of the state Republican parties accepted the antislavery goal except Kentucky. The Congress, also passed major legislation to promote drastic changes like, a national banking system, the first temporary income tax, paper money issued without backing ("greenbacks"), a huge national debt, homestead laws, railroads, and aid to education and agriculture.
The Republicans denounced the peace-oriented Democrats as disloyal Copperheads and won enough War Democrats to maintain their majority in 1862; in 1864, they formed a coalition with many War Democrats as the National Union Party which reelected Lincoln easily. Lincoln was assassinated on Good Friday, April 14, 1865
Ulysses S. Grant was the first Republican president to serve for two full terms; (1869-1877) the Radical Republicans had control of Congress, the party and the Army. They attempted to build a solid Republican base in the South using the votes of Freedmen, Scalawags and Carpetbaggers:
Scalawags — a derogatory term (originally describing worthless livestock) applied to native white Southerners who supported the federal reconstruction plan and cooperated with the blacks in order to achieve their ends. Some of the scalawags were entirely above board, having opposed the Confederacy in earlier times and later wanted a new South to emerge from the rubble. Others cooperated with or served in the Republican governments in order to avail themselves of money-making opportunities.
Carpetbaggers—also a term of disrespect, applied to Northerners who went South during Reconstruction, motivated by either profit or idealism. The name referred to the cloth bags many of them used for transporting their possessions. Many were sincerely interested in aiding the freedom and education of the former slaves.
Republicans all across the South formed local clubs called Union Leagues that effectively mobilized the voters, discussed issues, and when necessary fought off Ku Klux Klan (KKK) attacks. President Grant also supported the Fourteenth Amendment and equal civil and voting rights for the freedmen. Now Ku Klux Klan (KKK) members like David Duke get elected within the Party. Reconstruction came to an end when the contested election of 1876 was awarded by a special electoral commission to Republican Rutherford B. Hayes who promised, through the unofficial Compromise of 1877, to withdraw federal troops from control of the last three southern states. The region then became the Solid South, giving overwhelming majorities of its electoral votes and Congressional seats to the Democrats until 1964. In 1868 the "Black and Tan" Republican Party was formed, which was a coalition of African Americans and working class white Republicans thus making The Republican Party integrated and progressive on civil rights issues.
The Republicans claimed credit for the post-war economy boom of industry, prosperous agriculture, railroads, mines, and fast-growing cities. In those days it was the Democratic Party that was largely associated with being controlled by big-business.
Theodore Roosevelt became president in 1901. Roosevelt achieved legislative gains in terms of railroad legislation and pure food laws. Through antitrust suits he broke up the Northern Securities Company trust and Standard Oil.
The Wall Street Crash of 1929 known as The Great Depression cost Republican President Herbert Hoover the presidency with the 1932 landslide election of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Franklin D. Roosevelt's Democratic New Deal: with the power of the federal government and after the collapse of the nation's economic system Roosevelt took responsibility for the economic welfare of the Americans. This unprecedented tactic provided the following relief measures:
Obtained legislation in Congress federally certifying banks security, and banking reforms included insuring of deposits through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Provided large sums of federal grant money for direct payments to citizens in need.
Established various new agencies to provide government-sponsored work for the unemployed.
Through the Works Progress Administration (WPA) special projects were devised to provide employment for skilled and unskilled labor and for such persons as writers, artists, actors, and musicians.
Massive public works program—the construction of public buildings, highways, dams, and similar projects—was begun under the Public Works Administration (PWA). Young men were employed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to work on conservation projects.
Raised wages, which had dropped lower and lower as the depression continued.
The National Industrial Recovery Act called for the cooperation of labor and management in setting prices, minimum wages, and working hours within various industries. The act also gave workers the right to join unions without interference from employers. To increase the income of farmers, the Agricultural Adjustment Act was passed. It included provisions for paying farmers to reduce the acreage of certain crops and to limit livestock holdings.
Established the Securities and Exchange Commission to regulate the stock market.
Established the Social Security Act of 1935 providing for unemployment insurance and old-age pensions.
The African American vote which had held for Hoover in 1932 started moving toward Roosevelt and by 1940 the majority of northern blacks were voting Democratic. This would never be reversed. Roosevelt died in office in 1945 and Harry S. Truman became president.
By 1948, the Republican Party had split in two, left and right and the Party got a nick- name and reputation as the "Do-Nothing Congress" and the cause of the nation's problems. Therefore Truman was re-elected with victory.
After 20 years finally a republican was elected again. In 1952, Dwight D. Eisenhower, an internationalist, and NATO commander, defeated Taft. Surprisingly, Eisenhower didn't repeal the New Deal but he expanded parts like Social Security. He also built our nations modern Interstate Highway System. However, today they claim we can't afford to modernize our infrastructure or social security.
In 1964 after John F. Kennedy's reign and assassination, Barry Goldwater defeated both moderates and liberals such as Nelson Rockefeller and Margaret Chase Smith as the Republican candidate. Goldwater opposed the New Deal and the United Nations. Although Barry had a strong southern backing, he was defeated by Lyndon Johnson in a landslide.
In the mid to late 60's due to social issues many members of the then racist democratic south started voting Republican and vice versa. 1969
In 1968, running on a campaign to restore "law & order" Nixon defeated Hubert Humphrey . In 1972, Nixon was re-elected but his involvement in Watergate brought about his resignation in 1974. However, Watergate and the nation's economic difficulties contributed to the election of Democrat Jimmy Carter in 1976.
In 1980 Ronald Reagan was elected President. This is the era that republicans still cling to as golden age. They also at this time gained control of the senate as well, which hadn't happened in decades. Reagan is known for trickle-down economics. The policy of providing across the board tax cuts or benefits to big businesses, such as tax breaks, in the belief that this will indirectly benefit the broader population. On Monday, March 30, 1981, just 69 days into his presidency, John Hinckley Jr. attempted unsuccessfully to assassinate Reagan while leaving a speaking engagement at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.. President Reagan was wounded but he fully recovered.
In 1989-93 President George H. W. Bush, Reagan's successor, served as America's President.
No notable social policy to advance American quality of life was passed during this time.
In 1993 Democrat Bill Clinton became the 42 President of the United States. He left the following enduring legacy that's important to note before we go on:
During the eight years of his presidency, the economy expanded by 50% in real terms, and by the end of his tenure the US had a gross national product of $10,000bn - one quarter of the entire world economic output.
The unemployment rate had dropped by half, to 4%, a 40-year-low, while the economy created some 15 million jobs.
The stock market grew even faster - by more than three times - creating thousands of millionaires among middle class stockholders, and employees of fast-growing companies like Microsoft. He left office with a federal budget surplus of over $100 billion!
After which, the Republican Party, led by House Republican Minority Whip Newt Gingrich campaigning on a Contract with America, were elected to majorities to both houses of Congress in 1994. It was the first time since 1952 that the Republicans secured control of both houses of U.S. Congress. Democrats had controlled both houses of Congress for the forty years preceding 1995, with approximately a 6 year exception. Therefore this capture of Congress by Republicans represented a major legislative turnaround. What a turnaround it would be too!
George W. Bush, son of former president George H. W. Bush (1989–1993), became the 43 President with a controversial victory in the 2000 election against the Vice President Al Gore of the Democratic Party. The Republican Party loss control of the Senate by one vote when Vermont Senator James Jeffords left the Republican Party to become an independent in 2001 and chose to vote with the Democratic caucus.
September 11, 2001 the Nation was attacked by terrorist. Bush gained widespread political support as he pursued the "War on Terrorism" that included the invasion of Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq alleging the possession of "weapons of mass destruction". Bush had near-unanimous Republican support in Congress plus support from many Democratic leaders. Here is what he did with all that support.
March 2001 The first realization that the Bush presidency was going to have long-term implications: Bush sends a memo to the United States archivist requesting a delay in releasing presidential personal records, followed by an executive order limiting access to all presidential papers from Reagan forward.
Also: The Bush administration overturns a Clinton-era regulation reducing the amount of arsenic in drinking water.
April 2001 Bush signs a $1.65 trillion tax cut for large corporations and the wealthy.
August 2001 The "Osama Bin Laden determined to strike U.S." memo reaches the president's desk; He's clearing brush at his Crawford, Texas, ranch on a month-long vacation.
September 2001 An entire nation watches in horror as planes slam into the World Trade Center and Pentagon; "My Pet Goat" gains notoriety.
October 2001 Bush signs Patriot Act. America, Under New Management
January 2002 "Gitmo" opens.
May 2002 Bush issues executive order authorizing the National Security Agency to wiretap phones and read e-mails of U.S. citizens.
June 2002 In a speech at West Point, Bush reveals his "Bush Doctrine" of preemptive war; behind the scenes, administrations officials plan the Iraq war.
September 2002 One year after 9/11, Bush asks Congress for authorization of military force against Iraq. They grant it.
February 2003 Secretary of State Colin Powell states his case for war with Iraq; millions across the world protest. March 2003 Under the guise of WMDs, the United States invades Iraq. Also: FEMA gutted and buried in the vast bureaucracy of the Department of Homeland Security.
April 2003 Congress approves $79 million for the Iraq war; the next month, Bush signs $350 billion tax cut.
May 2003 Bush declares, "Mission accomplished!"
June 2003 FCC pushes for more media consolidation, allowing one company to own newspapers, TV and radio stations in the same city.
July 2003 Bush: "Bring 'em on." Nearly 300 U.S. soldiers die over the next six months.
August 2003 Bush signs a budget that essentially kills the Teach for America program for inner-city schools. November 2003 U.S. soldiers' death toll in Iraq reaches 437.
March 2004 At a Radio and Television Correspondents' dinner, Bush presents photos of himself looking for WMDs around the White House: "Those weapons of mass destruction must be somewhere! Nope, no weapons over there!"
April 2004 Abu Ghraib photos leaked.
May 2004 A Bush-backed FDA rejects the over-the-counter sale of "the morning after pill."
July 2004 In his 2005 budget, Bush freezes the amount of Pell Grants for the third straight year. After his budget passes, average Pell Grant awards decrease for the first time in six years. Changes in eligibility cut thousands from grant rolls.
Excerpted from America, Under New Management by Parker Copyright © 2011 by Parker. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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